HKJC Expert Horse Racing Selections for Hong Kong – Sat., Jan. 13

(Saturday, January 13, 2024)

Race 1: #14 Smart Beauty, #2 Dragon Delight, #5 Fire Ball, #13 Tsuen Wan Glory
Race 2:
#8 Master Mastermind, #1 Top Scorer, #2 Joy Of Spring, #10 Mr Maestro
Race 3:
#1 Must Go, #3 Run Run Timing, #8 Ruby Sailing, #2 Sight Hero 
Race 4:
#6 Deep Pursuit, #1 James Tak, #9 Lifeline Express, #2 Metro Warrior
Race 5:
#2 Fighting Machine, #13 Kasi Farasi, #8 Volcanic Spark, #7 Master Tornado 
Race 6:
#7 Lucky Eternity, #12 Northern Beast, #1 Holy Lake, #3 Beato
Race 7:
#6 Galaxy Patch, #7 Lucky Encounter, #1 Ping Hai Galaxy, #5 Bundle Of Charm
Race 8:
#9 Denfield, #2 Cotton Fingers, #4 I Give, #10 Magnificent Nine
Race 9:
#7 Hakka Radiance,#13 Star Mac, #2 Chancheng Glory, #3 Speed Dragon
Race 10:
#3 Joyful Hunter, #4 Leslie, #6 Beauty Fit, #1 Beauty Crescent

Race 1: Hung Shui Kiu Handicap (9.00pm PST, 12.00am EST)

#14 Smart Beauty slots in light and gets a superb chance to record a first win. He caught the eye late last start, enough so to suggest that he was capable of breaking through. Angus Chung’s five-pound apprentice claim helps. #2 Dragon Delight is performing well in the bottom grade. He’s drawn ideally and pairs favourably with Hugh Bowman. #5 Fire Ball is after consecutive wins. He gets his chance here, however, he will need to overcome the wide gate. #13 Tsuen Wan Glory is next in line with the featherweight.

Race 2: Lam Tei Handicap (2nd Section) (9.30pm PST, 12.30am EST)

#8 Master Mastermind makes his debut. He’s done well ahead of his first-up run and he does look well placed here to make his presence felt in a big, big way. Worth a chance. #1 Top Scorer was sound first-up when finishing second. He can improve from that effort. #2 Joy Of Spring soared to an improbable runner-up finish on debut two runs back. He can return to form with the prospect of a dry track this weekend. #10 Mr Maestro has been solid across two runs and he can only get better. Keep safe.

Hong Kong horse racingRace 3: Lam Tei Handicap (1st Section) (10.00pm PST, 1.00am EST)

#1 Must Go makes a favourable step down to Class 4. He found form last start and shapes as the one to beat here, as long as he can back that effort up again. #3 Run Run Timing has finished third twice across two runs in Hong Kong. He continues to progress and his day will come soon enough. #8 Ruby Sailing knows how to run well without winning. He’s finished second four times across his short career, however, must be included once more with Hugh Bowman up. #2 Sight Hero is next in line.

Race 4: Lau Fau Shan Handicap (10.30pm PST, 1.30am EST)

#6 Deep Pursuit has taken some time to get going. He’s now ready to make his debut and he does so after an eye-catching trial at Conghua. He draws well for this race down the straight five furlongs and does get Vincent Ho up. One to beat. #1 James Tak is chasing back-to-back wins and he gets a handy 10 pounds taken off his back. He’ll be fighting out another finish. #9 Lifeline Express can improve after finishing third on debut. #2 Metro Warrior steps down to Class 4. He can compete strongly now.

Race 5: Nam Sang Wai Handicap (11.00pm PST, 2.00am EST)

#2 Fighting Machine is after consecutive wins and he can easily get that here. The wide draw is a hindrance, however, his latest score was superb and he remains in Class 4 following that effort. #13 Kasi Farasi was blocked for a run at crucial stages last time out. Expecting he can bounce back from that run, especially as he’s clearly in the right vein of form at the minute. #8 Volcanic Spark is lightly raced but does have plenty of upside, especially with Hugh Bowman taking the reins. #7 Master Tornado is next in line.

Race 6: Ping Shan Handicap (11.35pm PST, 2.35am EST)

#7 Lucky Eternity has raced well this season and he deserves a first win. He’s twice finished second over the course and distance this term, both times missing by under a length. Hugh Bowman hops back aboard and he’s ready to win. #12 Northern Beast closed off nicely to finish fifth last time out. Expecting similar again from him. #1 Holy Lake is a two-time winner from his last three starts. He can figure. #3 Beato is racing well and closing in on a first win. Zac Purton hops up here and he has claims.

Race 7: The Pok Oi Cup Handicap (12.05am PST, 3.05am EST)

#6 Galaxy Patch returns in a bid for a hat-trick of wins. He’s been touted as one of the next big things in Hong Kong racing and he shouldn’t disappoint this weekend. He can win and win well. #7 Lucky Encounter will prove a formidable opponent. He’s lightly raced and open to improvement as a smart four-time winner from seven starts. #1 Ping Hai Galaxy can fire forward to lead. He’s got the class-edge over rivals which does see him assigned top-weight. #5 Bundle Of Charm is next in line. He’s been solid this term.

Race 8: Tai Tong Handicap (12.35am PST, 3.35am EST)

#9 Denfield can offset the draw by rolling forward to lead. He won’t be alone, however, he has shown that he’s best suited from a forward position and he did also have excuses last start. He can return to form and give this race a shake. #2 Cotton Fingers should get the run of the race from draw one. He’s closing in on a first win and clearly has his fair share of ability. #4 I Give is another who should roll forward. He’s a prolific winner who can make his presence felt. #10 Magnificent Nine was without luck last start. Next best.

Race 9: Tin Shui Wai Handicap (1.10am PST, 4.10am EST)

#7 Hakka Radiance was impeded in the straight last start. He clearly has much more to offer and a clean run can allow him to show that. He’s worth a throw at the stumps and he should be decent odds. #13 Star Mac caught the eye with a fast-finishing third last time out. He can do the same again here under no weight. #2 Chancheng Glory is after a fifth straight win. He’s in the form of his life and should be able to cross the field for a forward position early on. #3 Speed Dragon was impressive last start. Don’t discount.

Race 10: Yuen Long Handicap (1.45am PST, 4.45am EST)

#3 Joyful Hunter was incredible last start and a repeat of anything close to that effort should see him win here. He’s a serious talent and he’s yet to reach anywhere close to his ceiling in Hong Kong. One to beat. #4 Leslie surprised last start. He’s holding his condition and can take his chance here. #6 Beauty Fit continues to race well without winning. He’s placed in each of his last five starts. #1 Beauty Crescent is still relatively lightly raced. He’s drawn to get the right run for Zac Purton.

Industry Profile: Leading NY Apprentice Jockey Jamie Torres

Jockey Jaime Torres won 37 races on the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) in 2023 to lead all apprentice riders, posting a record of 411-37-50-50 for purse earnings in excess of $2.6 million. Luis Rivera, Jr. won 27 races to finish second in the NYRA apprentice rider standings.

Torres, who was represented locally by Hall of Famer Angel Cordero, Jr., became a journeyman in October and is now based at Fair Grounds Race Course where Liz Morris has his book.

“New York is one of the toughest circuits in the country and there are a lot of experienced jockeys there. I learned so much from them and from Angel Cordero, who was my right hand and teaching me and leading me the whole meet. I feel very blessed to have had all those opportunities and I learned from it a lot. I would love to go back one day,” Torres said.

Torres, a 24-year-old native of Puerto Rico, was late in arriving to the sport but has proven to be a quick study after a visit to Hipodromo Camarero in December 2019.

“No one in my family is related to this sport. I remember one day I was at my mom’s home just changing the channels and I saw the races in Puerto Rico and I had never seen anything like that – only in the movies,” Torres said. “I went to the races the next day – that was December 15, 2019. I saw the races and fell in love with it. I decided then to ask for more information about how to get into it.”

Torres spent six months training as an exercise rider at the jockey school in Puerto Rico before moving to Florida and taking out his exercise rider license to work for trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr. at Palm Meadows Training Center.

Jockey Jamie Torres“I worked for Saffie Joseph for 10 months and he helped me with everything,” Torres said. “His team taught me how to exercise horses and when I told Saffie I was going to try and get my license, he gave me three horses to break from the gate and get that license. A lot of the horses I exercised for him were winning and doing really good. I really appreciate the opportunity that he gave me.”

Torres secured his first win on September 17, 2022 at Gulfstream Park, guiding Takestwotowiggle to a 13-1 gate-to-wire upset. He began riding at Aqueduct Racetrack in January where he won the bulk of his races on the NYRA circuit, scoring 24 times at the Big A topped by an allowance score in April with the Carlos Martin-trained Lady Milagro, who went on to win the Autumn Days here in November.

Torres, who captured six races at Belmont Park, won seven races at the Saratoga Race Course meet, including a pair of maiden special weights with MyRacehorse’s Seize the Grey for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas and with Leslie’s Loot for trainer James Chapman, who co-owns the Fast Anna filly with Stuart Tsujimoto.

“I remember every moment and every win I had in New York, but the first win for D. Wayne Lukas with Seize the Grey was very special. The kind of trainer he is – he’s a legend,” Torres said. “I remember Angel Cordero told me to visit his barn just to introduce me and, for me, that was a moment I will never forget. I didn’t know I was going to ride for him and then one week I saw Seize the Grey was one of my commitments. I thought, ‘Wow. I can’t believe I’m going to ride for him.’

“And then I saw I was going to also ride for MyRacehose and that made me very happy,” continued Torres. “When I first started to know about this sport it was the same year they won the Kentucky Derby with Authentic. For it to end like that with a win, that was very special.”

Torres, who finished second in the Grade 2 Herb Moelis Saratoga Special with the Lukas-trained Market Street, said winning a race in Saratoga is an experience like no other.

“It was the best feeling. The fans give you a lot of support and they make you feel really good. When the kids ask you for a picture or to sign their book, that’s very special,” Torres said.

Torres rode in Kentucky after the Spa meet ended but he reunited with Leslie’s Loot at the Fair Grounds to notch his first career stakes win in the Letellier Memorial on December 23 as part of a lucrative day that also saw Torres win the Richard R. Scherer Memorial with the Michelle Lovell-trained Just Might.

“Wow, what a moment,” Torres recalled. “I remember saying to my father that I was just coming here to do what I love – with no pressure and following instructions. I gave it 100 percent and thank God it finished like that. I really thank James Chapman and Michelle Lovell for the opportunities.”

Torres said the relationships and learning experiences developed in New York have helped shape his career which is on an upward trajectory as he currently sits sixth in the Fair Grounds jockey standings with 14 wins.

“I feel very blessed for everything that is going on in my career. I never thought it was going to be that quick,” Torres said. “Joe Sharp and his owners have really helped me and supported me to achieve all my goals. Tom Morley and Ray Handal are here at Fair Grounds and I feel very blessed when I ride for them. They’re all very nice people and saw me growing up in this business.”

Torres, who said he hopes to return to Saratoga this summer, will look to add to his stakes totals on Saturday at Fair Grounds when he pilots the Lovell-conditioned Redifined in the Nelson J. Menard Memorial as he continues to chase his racing dreams.

“I want to win a meet somewhere and just keep learning and make the most of the opportunities people are giving me. I appreciate all of them. One day, I would like to become one of the best jockeys in the country,” Torres said.


HKJC Expert Horse Analysis for Wednesday, Jan. 10 in Hong Kong

(Wednesday, January 10, 2024)

Race 1: #6 Goodmanship, #1 Happy Horse, #3 Multimore, #2 August Moon
Race 2:
#4 Running Ahead, #2 Simply Maverick, #5 Fearless Fire, #6 To Infinity
Race 3:
#4 Red Hare King, #1 Samarkand, #11 Affirm, #5 Super Baby
Race 4:
#10 Valhalla, #5 Great Achiever, #11 Mr Good Vibes, #4 High Rise Soldier
Race 5:
#1 Happy Fat Cat, #5 Gold Tack, #6 Lyrical Motion, #2 Joy Coming
Race 6:
#9 Happy Together, #7 Helene Feeling, #11 La City Blanche, #4 Telecom Fighters
Race 7:
#3 Turin Mascot, #6 Lean Hero, #9 Intrepid Winner, #5 Escape Route
Race 8:
#9 Healthy Healthy, #6 Never Too Soon, #3 Brave Star, #4 Copartner Ambition

Race 1: Paterson Handicap (3.10am PST, 6.10am EST)

#6 Goodmanship has raced well this season. He pairs favourably with Karis Teetan here and a return to the city circuit for him is a big plus. He’s capable of returning to his best and with that proving very tough to get past. #1 Happy Horse is in superb form with a win two runs back. Hugh Bowman’s pairing commands respect. #3 Multimore gets a handy 10 pounds taken off his back with the apprentice up. Expecting a sound effort from him, especially near the head of the field. #2 August Moon is next in line.

Race 2: Kingston Handicap (2nd Section) (3.40am PST, 6.40am EST)

#4 Running Ahead was sound second-up and he can improve following that run. He draws ideally, which could easily see him save the right amount of ground. One to beat. #2 Simply Maverick is versatile. He’s holding his form and gets another chance in Class 4 after his smashing win two starts ago. #5 Fearless Fire is consistent and can make his presence felt once again. He’ll be very competitive here. #6 To Infinity is after back-to-back wins. He has a suitable gate.

Race 3: Kingston Handicap (1st Section) (4.10am PST, 7.10am EST)

#4 Red Hare King draws ideally and has raced well all season at Happy Valley. He comes into this following a pair of runner-up efforts over the course and distance. One to beat from gate one, assuming he receives an economical run in transit. #1 Samarkand can press forward to lead. He’s chasing a hat-trick of wins and does remain in Class 4, which suits. #11 Affirm slots in light and has found sound form. It’s taken time but his most recent run was decent. #5 Super Baby can roll forward. Keep safe.

Interested in great horse racing rebates on Hong Kong racing?

Race 4: Great George Handicap (2nd Section) (4.40am PST, 7.40am EST)

#10 Valhalla won well last start and rises to Class 4. This is a tougher task, however, he is in the right vein of form and continues to race well at his preferred track. #5 Great Achiever finished seventh first-up in Hong Kong. He can take another forward step, especially from barrier one. He performed well on debut and could be value. #11 Mr Good Vibes has been making ground of late and the light weight affords him his chance. He can improve. #4 High Rise Soldier has experience on his side. Keep safe.

Race 5: Great George Handicap (1st Section) (5.10am PST, 8.10am EST)

#1 Happy Fat Cat can bounce back to his best in this grade. He draws ideally and should find the front against to lead, especially with five pounds taken off his back due to Angus Chung’s booking. One to catch. #5 Gold Tack returns first-up. He’s trialled well and was showing plenty of promise last season, enough so to suggest he can return a winner very, very soon. #6 Lyrical Motion gets 10 pounds removed with the apprentice up. He’s raced well all season. #2 Joy Coming is open to improvement. Next in line.

Race 6: G3 January Cup Handicap (5.45am PST, 8.45am EST)

#9 Happy Together continues to improve and the light weight affords him and several others their chance against tough opposition. Taking a chance on him to win here, especially with the likely prospect of a fast tempo, which will suit him. #7 Helene Feeling is another who keeps raising the bar. He has his fair share of quality as a four-time winner already. #11 La City Blanche slots in light. He’s suited in this grade with Karis Teetan up. #4 Telecom Fighters has claims. Expect he rolls forward for his chance.

Race 7: Cleveland Handicap (6.15am PST, 9.15am EST)

#3 Turin Mascot has performed all season. He’s consistent and tends to do very little wrong. He can win again this term with the right run from a slightly tricky draw. #6 Lean Hero loves the course and is a winner over this trip. He’s favoured from gate one, which should allow him to save ground throughout. Next best. #9 Intrepid Winner is after back-to-back wins. He can make his presence felt again. #5 Escape Route has been racing well all season. He’s a major player off his current rating.

Race 8: Causeway Handicap (6.50am PST, 9.50am EST)

#9 Healthy Healthy is a superb talent. He’s chasing a fourth win this season and third in succession. The draw is suitable and he can win again after proving his worth in this grade last time out. #6 Never Too Soon is a two-time winner from three starts this campaign. He returns to Happy Valley, which is a plus. #3 Brave Star has gone close each start this season. He deserves another chance. #4 Copartner Ambition has won three out of his last four starts. Hugh Bowman hops up and he can test this group.

Betting on Dreams: Poetry at the 25th National Horseplayers’ Championship

In the city of lights where dreams take flight,
In the heart of the desert, under Vegas’ bright light,
Gathered in halls where fortunes are sealed,
The 25th National Horseplayers Championship revealed.

A symphony of hooves echoes in the air,
As players immerse in a game of skill and flair,
In Las Vegas, where excitement takes hold,
Where horseplayers’ tales of triumph are told.

Neon signs flicker, casting a glow,
On the eager faces, with anticipation aglow,
In the NHC arena, where knowledge is key,
Each bet, a strategic dance of strategy.

Silent whispers among the racing elite,
As they study the forms, in their quest to compete,
Charts and graphs, a horseplayer’s charted domain,
In pursuit of success, in this high-stakes terrain.

A carousel of races, each moment intense,
As the thoroughbreds thunder, a spectacle immense,
In the world of odds, where fortunes sway,
Horseplayers strategize, seeking their way.

Through the ebb and flow of the racing tide,
It is the NHC, where champions abide,
A fellowship of punters, united they stand,
Bound by the passion for the turf and the sand.

Horseshoe Las Vegas, the stage for this grand affair,
Where horseplayers converge, a community rare,
In the National Horseplayers Championship’s embrace,
They chase the elusive glory, in the horse racing race.

The roar of the crowd, the pulse of the track,
In the heart of the desert, where legends come back,
For in this arena, where skill meets chance,
The National Horseplayers Championship, a thrilling dance.

nhc final table vegas


~ this poem about the 25th National Horseplayers’ Championship was written and generated by artificial intelligence. It was slightly edited prior to publication.

Are you qualified? There are just over 2 months left to qualify for the 2024 National Horseplayers Championship, the 25th renewal of this popular handicapping tournament run by our friends at The NTRA. Check out the late NHC Leaderboard.


Have you read these tournament articles?

How Professional Handicapper Sean Boarman Won the 2023 BCBC

The Evolution of the NTRA National Handicapping Championship (NHC)

5 Tournament Tips to Keep You Relevant (and Sane) When Life Gets in the Way

Mandatory Payouts on New Year’s Eve

Sunday, December 31st

Aqueduct will have Mandatory Payouts on all carryover pools today, Sunday, December 31st

Laurel Park will have Mandatory Payouts on all carryover pools today, Sunday, December 31st. The $1 Pentafecta wager has a carryover of $3,564.52, and the $0.20 Pick 6 wager has a carryover of $2,094.14

            Race 4 Post Time:  1:52 PM ET  ($0.20) Pick 6 (Races 4-9), Carryover $2,094

            Race 6 Post Time: 2:50 PM ET  ($1.00) H-5 (Race 6), Carryover $3,565

Harrah’s Philadelphia ends its meet today, Sunday, December 31st, and all Pick Pools will be Forced Out.


Standardbred Racing

Hawthorne Harness will have Mandatory Payouts on all carryover pools tonight, Sunday, December 31st. The $0.20 Pentafecta wager has a carryover of $85,568.55

           Race 9 Post Time: 10:50 PM ET  ($0.20) H-5 (Race 9), Carryover 85,569

Century Mile Harness will be forcing out the $0.20 Pick 5 wager tonight, Sunday, December 31st. The carryover is: $18,309.12

          Race 9 Post Time:  11:27 PM ET  ($0.20) Pick 5 (Races 9-13), Carryover $18,309

Is Horse Racing Dead? Not in Canada

Woodbine Racecourse Reports Big Year in 2023

TORONTO, December, 2023 – Woodbine Entertainment announced the 2023 Thoroughbred season produced an all-sources handle of $613,125,180 CAD. This is the second largest single-season handle in Woodbine’s history, but down $8 million from 2022.

“Our 2023 Thoroughbred racing meet produced very strong results thanks to our exciting racing product, the strength of the Woodbine brand, and the hard work of our team and the entire horse racing community,” said Michael Copeland, CEO, Woodbine Entertainment. “The results are especially encouraging considering the industry trends our sport is facing with increased competition from sports betting, growing purses in some jurisdictions largely due to ancillary gaming revenues, extreme weather factors that have cancelled an unprecedented number of race cards, North American horse supply, and larger macroeconomic factors like inflation and the uncertainty of the U.S. dollar.

Woodbine via WO FB page“While we are proud of our results, we cannot be complacent, and we need to focus on the industry trends and other opportunities that will help us navigate these headwinds.”

In 2023, a total of 1,180 races were contested over 128 dates of racing compared to 1,198 races over 132 dates in 2022. Woodbine ran four less dates and 18 less races in 2023 due to an unprecedented number of cancelled race cards (5) because of extreme heat and poor air quality caused by smoke from forest fires across Canada.

Healthy Average Field Size at Woodbine

The average field size for those races was 8.2, the same as 2022, and above the industry average.

In Ontario, wagering on Woodbine Thoroughbred racing by customers across the province was down 6.2% ($81.8 million this season vs $87.2 million in 2022).

The decline in home market wagering was partially mitigated by a foreign market handle of $512 million, a decrease from $515 million in 2022, though still a remarkable gain from the previous record of $420 million in 2021. The $512 million in foreign market handle was supported by a strong U.S. dollar.

The average handle per race in 2023 was a record $519,597. This is an increase of $580 per race from 2022.

To address the increased competition from an emerging licensed sports betting market, Woodbine Entertainment announced a partnership with global sports betting leader bet365 prior to The King’s Plate. It includes the integration of pari-mutuel horse racing into bet365’s licensed sportsbook platform in Ontario. Woodbine plans to integrate its racing product in additional licensed Ontario sports books in 2024 in hopes of generating increased handle in the province and engagement with a new audience.

“We are operating on a very solid foundation that positions us well to manage the current industry and economic trends,” added Copeland. “We also have opportunities before us that have not been fully realized yet, like the integration of racing into licensed sportsbooks, which will have a positive impact.”

Key Highlights – 2023 at Woodbine

  • Second highest single-season all-sources handle ($613M) in Woodbine history
  • Second highest single-season foreign handle ($512M) in Woodbine history
  • Record-breaking average per-race handle of $519,597
  • Average field size of 8.2 (above North American industry average)
  • Woodbine saw the return of the King’s Plate for the first time in over 70 years with winner Paramount Prince. The total all-sources wagering on King’s Plate day was a record $18,127,049
  • The integration of pari-mutuel racing into bet365’s licensed online sports book in Ontario

The 2024 Woodbine Thoroughbred season is scheduled to begin on Saturday, April 27. The 165th running of The King’s Plate will take place on Saturday, August 17.

For the latest information on Woodbine Racetrack, visit or follow @WoodbineTB or @WoodbineComms on Twitter.

HKJC Expert Horse Racing Analysis for Saturday

(Saturday, December 23, 2023)

Race 1: #9 Little Fairy, #1 Mister Dapper, #2 Nicholson Returns, #11 Jubilation
Race 2:
#4 Gangnam Star, #6 Second To None, #12 Vantastic Choice, #5 Ruby Sailing
Race 3:
#8 New Power, #6 Good Happy Heart, #1 Super Legends, #10 The Absolute
Race 4:
#13 Angels Hunter, #11 Starship Eighty, #6 President’s Choice, #14 Hang’s Choice
Race 5:
#3 Harry’s Hero, #7 Lucky Banner, #2 Nordic Star, #4 All Are Mine
Race 6:
#10 Fighting Machine, #4 Happy For All, #11 Devas Twelve, #3 Perfetto
Race 7:
#2 Five G Patch, #4 La City Blanche, #8 Awesome Fluke, #10 Ensued
Race 8:
#4 Wings Of War, #2 Cotton Fingers, #3 I Give, #6 Joyful Hunter 
Race 9:
#3 Ching, #7 Adefill, #4 Yellowfin, #1 Everyone’s Delight
Race 10:
#3 Massive Action, #6 The Heir, #5 Pins Prince, #9 Silver Up

Expert Horse Racing Analysis for Saturday:

Race 1: Amaryllis Handicap (9.00pm PST, 12.00am EST)

#9 Little Fairy is in form and appears ready to take the next step. This distance will suit and he’s still open to a fair bit of improvement, especially as a four-year-old. #1 Mister Dapper has a bit of class about him. He’s racing well and was a tidy winner over the mile last time out. This is a step up again but he has the quality to be hugely competitive, even if this distance doesn’t suit. #2 Nicholson Returns will improve with a step back to Class 4. #11 Jubilation is next in line with no weight and sound form of late.

Race 2: Cedar Handicap (9.30pm PST, 12.30am EST)

#4 Gangnam Star caught the eye first-up when third. He made up a stack of ground that day and further improvement is expected here, enough so to suggest that he can win. #6 Second To None makes his debut. He’s moving well and showed a fair bit of quality in his latest trial. Keep a close eye, especially with Vincent Ho up. #12 Vantastic Choice gets a handy weight relief and it wouldn’t surprise to see him roll forward to lead. #5 Ruby Sailing has class but is struggling to piece it together. Keep safe.

Race 3: Erica Handicap (10.00pm PST, 1.00am EST)

#8 New Power did well on debut to close into fifth position. He’s in sound form and is open to more improvement, especially from a suitable draw against a sizeable field. He’s worth supporting. #6 Good Happy Heart has done a stack of work with Zac Purton ahead of his debut but will be paired with Lyle Hewitson this weekend. He’s showing ability and Purton’s pre-race pairings hint at this. #1 Super Legends is the only winner in the race. He should get a sweet run from barrier six. #10 The Absolute is next in line.

Hong Kong Golden SixtyRace 4: Hibiscus Handicap (10.30pm PST, 1.30am EST)

#13 Angels Hunter can improve after narrowly missing first-up this season. He appears ready to win now and gets an excellent shot here, especially from a suitable draw. #11 Starship Eighty won well last start and he can maintain that level of form as he remains in the same grade. #6 President’s Choice is much better suited to the bottom grade. He pairs favourably with Zac Purton this weekend. #14 Hang’s Choice is in career-best form and there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be able to maintain this level of racing.

Race 5: Holly Handicap (11.00pm PST, 2.00am EST)

#3 Harry’s Hero can improve in this grade and with a switch to dirt. He was a winner on the synthetic pre-import, so he might be worth taking a chance on here as he races on Sha Tin’s alternate surface for the first time. Suitable draw and conditions. #7 Lucky Banner is better than his inconsistent record reads. He draws ideally with James McDonald up. #2 Nordic Star flashed into third last start from well back in the field. He commands respect. #4 All Are Mine loves the course and distance. Next in line.

Race 6: Ivy Handicap (11.35pm PST, 2.35am EST)

#10 Fighting Machine draws ideally after two solid runs. He pairs favourably with Zac Purton this week and is open to further improvement as well. One to catch and comes from the right stable. #4 Happy For All is racing well and can find his best here, especially from the draw. #11 Devas Twelve caught the eye late last start. He can take another forward step here. #3 Perfetto is suited in this grade and can make his presence felt, that is, if he manages to offset the awkward draw.

Race 7: The Yan Chai Trophy Handicap (12.05am PST, 3.05am EST)

#2 Five G Patch can improve sharply with a return to Class 2, which is where he’s done his best racing so far in Hong Kong. Zac Purton hops up and this is a very suitable race. One to beat. #4 La City Blanche also makes the dip in grade. He’ll relish this drop and can make his presence felt in a big way. #8 Awesome Fluke has a bit of talent and he’s coming to hand quite quickly. He’ll be fighting out the finish here. #10 Ensued is a two-time winner from three starts. He’s got some class and can bounce back this weekend.

Race 8: Pine Handicap (12.35am PST, 3.35am EST)

#4 Wings Of War can improve second-up. He’s got a stack of class and his latest trial was nothing short of eye-catching when crossing the line in first spot. He can take the right steps forward and get on the board in Hong Kong this weekend. #2 Cotton Fingers has a bit of class and he nearly should have won last time out. He draws well once more and can make his presence felt. #3 I Give is chasing a sixth straight win. His form is superb and his racing pattern affords him every shot each time he races. #6 Joyful Hunter is next in line.

Race 9: Spruce Handicap (1.10am PST, 4.10am EST)

#3 Ching is worth a shot on dirt, especially as he is sired by Frosted, one of America’s leading dirt horses in recent years. He’ll take a liking to this surface and the inside draw gives him a good chance. #7 Adefill has class over this course and distance. He’s consistent and the booking of James McDonald bears close watching. #4 Yellowfin is a three-time winner from his last four starts. He’s in career-best form and can once again make an impact. #1 Everyone’s Delight dips to Class 3. Don’t discount.

Race 10: Poinsetta Handicap (1.45am PST, 4.45am EST)

#3 Massive Action is going to lead here, just as he has done successfully in the past. He gets a handy 10 pounds taken off his back, which should see him prove difficult to catch. #6 The Heir has posted two runner-up efforts from a pair of starts in Hong Kong. He’s taken to life in new surroundings quickly and he should begin an ascent soon. #5 Pins Prince has the draw to afford him the run of the race. Strong booking with Zac Purton up. #9 Silver Up is next in line. He’s worth a chance on debut in Hong Kong.

Tickets Information for Belmont Stakes at Saratoga

walking horse through Saratoga crowd“NYRA is thrilled to be able to host the Belmont Stakes at Saratoga Race Course for the first time,” McKenna said. “While it is sure to be as exciting as any weekend in the history of the venue, fans should expect significant changes from an afternoon at the Spa during the summer meet.”

Pat McKenna, NYRA vice president, communications, said in an email that the majority of seating options will be four-day packages covering the duration of the “Belmont Stakes Racing Festival at Saratoga Race Course” from June 6-9. So, for the most part, you won’t be able to get single-day seating.

Also, early access to tickets will be provided to seasonal box holders from both Belmont Park and Saratoga, as well as Saratoga reserved season ticket holders and past Belmont Stakes buyers.

And by following Belmont protocols, you can expect paid admission to be limited to 50,000. That’s the number NYRA implemented two years ago, when the New York Islanders’ home rink, UBS Arena, took over half of the backyard. It’s also the admission cap for Whitney Day and Travers Day at Saratoga.


Expanded TV Coverage for Oaklawn Park this Year

Logo Oaklawn Park racingLast week the New York Racing Association Inc. (NYRA) announced that America’s Day at the Races, the acclaimed national telecast produced by NYRA in partnership with FOX Sports, will expand its coverage of the 2023-24 meet at Oaklawn Park.

Highlighted by the Grade 1, $1.5 million Arkansas Derby on March 30, the 2023-24 Oaklawn Park meet opened on Friday, December 8 and continues through Saturday, May 4. The 2023-24 Oaklawn meet will include 47 stakes races over the course of 66 race days at the Hot Springs, Arkansas oval.

As part of a multi-year agreement, America’s Day at the Races will feature daily analysis and handicapping of Oaklawn Park racing as well on-site coverage from NYRA television personalities throughout Opening Weekend, Smarty Jones weekend, Rebel weekend, Arkansas Derby weekend, Apple Blossom weekend and Oaklawn Handicap weekend.

Additionally, NYRA and Oaklawn Park will offer a new Cross Country Pick 5 wager each day when both Aqueduct Racetrack and Oaklawn Park conduct racing. The special wager will first be offered on Friday, December 8.

The Cross Country Pick 5 requires bettors to pick the winner of five select races from Aqueduct Racetrack and Oaklawn Park. The minimum bet for the multi-track, multi-race wager is 50 cents.

Interested in better rebates? Fill out this AGOS form.

Wagering on the Cross Country Pick 5 is available on ADW platforms and at simulcast facilities across the country with each day featuring a mandatory payout of the net pool.

America’s Day at the Races will present daily coverage and analysis of the fall meet at Aqueduct Racetrack on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit

Source: NYRA

Preview of Saturday’s Garland of Roses at Aqueduct

Cash is King and LC Racing’s Disco Ebo will look to build on a fine weekend of racing for her connections in Saturday’s $120,000 Garland of Roses, a six-furlong test for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up, at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Disco Ebo will look to provide her owners and trainer Butch Reid, Jr. with their third stakes conquest in eight days at the Big A after they sent out Dr B to a repeat score in the Grade 3 Go for Wand last Saturday and Morning Matcha, co-owned with Gary Barber, to win the NYSSS Staten Island on Sunday.

The 4-year-old Pennsylvania-bred daughter of Weigelia enters the Garland of Roses with a solid record since last October, winning 6-of-8 starts that include stakes victories in the Youngstown Oaks last November at Mahoning Valley Race Course and the Penn’s Landing in March at Parx Racing. Last year, she finished third in this event behind Betsy Blue ahead of three straight wins, topped by her open-company triumph in the Penn’s Landing this March by 6 3/4 lengths that garnered a career and co-field-high 97 Beyer Speed Figure.

Disco Ebo followed with a game pacesetting second to stablemate Morning Matcha in the state-bred Unique Bella in April at the Bensalem oval ahead of a six-month respite that ended with a victorious return when going wire-to-wire in a seven-furlong allowance last-out on October 31.

In last year’s Garland of Roses, Disco Ebo stumbled at the start, vied for the early lead and took a short advantage at the five-sixteenths, but weakened and settled for show. Reid, Jr. said Disco Ebo is primed to bring her best race this year.

“She’s been tearing them up down there in Philly, so she really likes that track. She actually ran in [this] race last year and ran well, finished third,” said Reid, Jr. “I think she’s a more mature horse this year and she’s even filled out. She’s a bigger, stronger, heavier horse than last year.”

Disco Ebo, who also won the Shamrock Rose at Penn National as a juvenile, boasts total purse earnings of $534,644 through a record of 18-9-3-2. She will be guided from post 1 by regular pilot Frankie Pennington.

Thomas Brockley and Daryn Brockley’s Headland [post 6, Jose Lezcano] gets back to the dirt for trainer George Weaver after a distant off-the-board effort in the six-furlong Autumn Days on October 31 here when racing prominently and fading to last while struggling to change leads.

“We tried the turf as an experiment because she does have it on the backside [of her pedigree], but I think that’s why she didn’t want to change her leads that day,” said Blair Golen, Weaver’s Belmont Park-based assistant.

The 7-year-old daughter of Paynter was haltered for $62,500 out of a second-place effort in August and made her first start for new connections in the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom on October 1 at Belmont at the Big A. There, Headland set the pace in the 6 1/2-furlong sprint and held her advantage into the stretch, but drifted out in the final furlong and crossed the wire second four lengths behind Sterling Silver. Both Sterling Silver and Headland were disqualified for interference with the elevated winner Caramel Swirl, and Headland was moved to third.

Golen added that Headland has been training well into another try at her first stakes conquest.

“She’s a little tank. She’s a very good looking horse,” said Golen. “She’s got a good body on her. She ran excellent in her first start for us and we learned a little bit about her. She’s a pleasure to be around and a joy to train.”

Ken Wheeler, Jr.’s New York-bred Kant Hurry Love [post 2, Trevor McCarthy] will look to bounce back off a fourth-place effort in the seven-furlong Pumpkin Pie on November 5 here. The 4-year-old Kantharos bay, bred by Dr. John M. McDermott and Laura G. McDermott, made her first start since August in the Pumpkin Pie and dueled for the early lead before fading in the stretch.

“She was just a square peg in a round hole,” trainer David Duggan said of the Pumpkin Pie. “This race is kind of a logical spot now in the timeframe, and we’re trying to get some open black type. If we can, it would be fantastic.”

The consistent filly is in search of her second career stakes victory after taking the state-bred Dancin Renee this spring at Belmont Park by a nose over Grannys Connection in a thrilling renewal of the six-furlong sprint. She followed with a game runner-up effort to the same rival and at the same distance in the state-bred Union Avenue Handicap on August 11 at Saratoga Race Course.

Since transferring from the barn of Christophe Clement in February, Kant Hurry Love has hit the board in 6-of-7 starts, including three wins, and has banked over $200,000.

“She’s training very well and she’s a happy little filly,” Duggan said. “She’s in the right place mentally. You can’t go wrong. She’s been a good filly to be around.”

Top Racing’s Kentucky homebred Olga Isabel [post 5, Manny Franco] streaks in off three wins for conditioner Brad Cox, most recently taking a 6 1/2-furlong third-level optional claimer by two lengths on October 26 at Keeneland. The 4-year-old Tiznow bay has been perfect since transferring to Cox, beginning with a 7 1/4-length romp in a one-mile allowance in July at Ellis Park. She followed with a one-mile optional claiming score in August at the Spa that garnered a career-best 90 Beyer before her latest effort. Each of her wins for Cox have come in wire-to-wire fashion without being headed.

Completing the field are nine-time winner Self Isolation [post 3, Eric Cancel] for owner/trainer David Jacobson; stakes-winner You Look Cold [post 4, Dylan Davis] for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott; and Hot Fudge [post 7, Kendrick Carmouche], who enters from eight days’ rest off a December 1 optional claiming score here for trainer Linda Rice.

The Garland of Roses is slated as Race 8 on Saturday’s nine-race card. First post is 12:20 p.m. Eastern.

America’s Day at the Races will present daily coverage and analysis of the fall meet at Aqueduct Racetrack on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit

Source: NYRA